OPINION

Opinion

Judging from the draft bill recently released by Interior Minister Vasso Papandreou which was given to parties to examine before it becomes law, the government’s attempt to safeguard – to any extent possible – transparency over the funding of parties, politicians and pre-election spending, which is a complex job and wrought with pitfalls, is ambitious and worthy of praise. The gray area of the public domain known as political money has in the past – and not only in Greece – prompted deep consideration of how to shed more light on the subject and how to put a brake on the secret political and economic entanglements which lead to the degeneration of political life, its discredit and unreliability. One immediately realizes that regardless of the attempts to purge the public realm of corruption, there will always be some room to maneuver and back doors through which to make suspect and illegal transactions, to influence and manipulate political groups and deputies, to arrange returns and to shift responsibility and the control of political activity away from the elected political representatives toward the covert interests which pull the strings from the safety of backstage without risking control or penalties, and without the fear of public criticism. Threats to democracy cannot be tackled with legislative measures if human ingenuity and political interests tend to bypass it… Experience has shown that Olympic Airways will never recover in state hands, thus a sale or partnership appear to be the only options. With all its problems, however, the national air carrier is a company with many assets and potential and cannot frivolously be sold off in an uncertain international environment. It would be wise to suspend the privatization of the carrier and re-examine the issue in the light of nascent global market conditions.